Reading is an important skill that has many significant benefits throughout a child’s life, and it’s never too early to help your child develop these benefits. Here are four reasons why early reading helps children.
Young children’s brains are developing rapidly
A child’s brain grows to 90% of its adult size by the age of five. In early childhood, more neural connections are made in the brain than any other time in a person’s life – at least one million per second. This means that early childhood is the best time for a child to develop foundational skills, such as literacy. The older a child gets, the more difficult it will be to learn. Similarly, if reading difficulties are not addressed until a child is older, they could be more likely to stick around later in life.
Reading is an ideal way to learn language skills
When reading a book with your young child, you are not only showing them how letters look and how they form words, but you are also demonstrating how these letters and words sound. Reading at an early age also helps your child to build their vocabulary and place these new words in appropriate contexts. Books are an ideal way for a child to expand their imagination as well as their vocabulary outside of what they may happen to pick up in daily life.
Books help children learn important lessons in an age-appropriate way
Many parents and caregivers want to find ways to discuss real-world situations with their young child in a way that won’t be confusing or overwhelming. Whether it’s a difficult topic or merely a complex one, there are likely many books available that teach these concepts in a relatable and age-appropriate way. What’s more, because many children’s books feature characters who are children themselves, they can help your child feel a deeper connection to the material.
Early literacy helps with future education
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are introduced to reading early do better in school compared to those who aren’t. Additionally, over 1 in 3 American children starting Kindergarten lack the skills needed to learn how to read. If your child is introduced to reading before Kindergarten, they will be better equipped to learn – both then and later in life.
Whether your child is an infant or a preschooler, it’s never too early to introduce them to reading. Early literacy has several important benefits for children that will last them for their whole lives.